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     Theater began in ancient Greece with rituals to worship the god Dionysus. It wasn’t until the ninth century that the Christian church allowed drama in the form of liturgical plays. Today theater thrives throughout the civilized world in many forms – from the familiar plays of the West to the Kabuki drama of Japan.

     Our Theater collection presents plenty of American and British fare, to be sure, but you’ll also taste the culture of other peoples through works from Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere. Each expresses the flavor of both the playwright and his culture. Consider, for example, the light shed on the influence of communism when the Iron Curtain was raised and the world could watch the dramas coming out of Poland, Russia, and Czechoslovakia.


 
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     Like all art forms, theater has run the full gamut of expressions – from rudimentary religious drama, to lighthearted comedy, to the theater of the absurd and beyond. Given The World & I’s emphasis on the world and how “I” relate to it, we have chosen to categorize our Theater collection by geographical location rather than theatrical style. “All the world’s a stage,” as Shakespeare said, and we invite you to explore it with us.
        
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